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Inside... Ofsted success Media student scoops prestigious New York award Q&A with the the Students’ Union President

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Wigan Foundation for Technical Education

College LIFE 2017 Contents

College Celebrates Ofsted Success 3 Political Masterclass 4 BAFTA Film Festival 5 Beast of a Performance 5 Q&A Session 6 Leigh Centurions 7 Green Fingered Students 7 Plastering Department Scoops National Award 8 National Beauty Award 9 Around the Classes 10-11 A Level Programme Scholarships 12 Medical Masterclass 12 Award Winning Radio Drama 13 Classroom into Business 13 Chocolate Easter Cake 14 Work Experience 15 Lights, Camera, Action 15

Front Cover image: Former Wigan & Leigh College Student - Robert Forshaw

“Wonderful evening @wiganleighcol incredible performances from all students in tonight’s panto @TrEADschools … amazing! ” Bedford High School

Thank you @wiganleighcol for providing an aspirational day for year 8 students during enrichment day Andrew Nowell

Stunning pictures of a Chinese culture celebration organised by the Confucius Classroom @wiganleighcol in today’s Wigan Evening Post #Wigan College Life - 2017

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Wigan Foundation for Technical Education

Funded Trip College Life magazine wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Wigan Foundation for Technical Education who continue to support the enrichment of Wigan & Leigh College students.






tudents and staff at the College are celebrating as their recent Ofsted report officially commended the organisation as an overall ‘Good’ College. The report highlights the College’s key strengths as well as significant improvements undertaken since the last visit and the College is delighted to be named as one of the few Colleges to be awarded ‘Good’ status in 2016.

The report states that standards of learners’ work are high and many learners produce work of quality well beyond their qualification level. It also reports that learners are confident and selfassured. Teachers were also praised as the report highlighted the teachers ability to motivate and enthuse students. The College’s commitment and contribution to the borough’s economy and skills agenda were also praised and Ofsted commented that senior leaders work collaboratively with a wide range of partners to develop new qualifications to meet the region’s skills needs.

The College has even more reason to celebrate after being named as the best Further Education College in Greater Manchester, according to FE Week, as well having the highest student satisfaction in Greater Manchester, which was also recently published in the FE Choices satisfaction survey. Principal, Anna Dawe, said: “Staff and students are delighted at the outcome of the Ofsted inspection. We are especially proud that the quality of teaching and learning and the good progress that our students made has been highlighted. It has been our priority to ensure that the local community has a College it can be confident in and our aim now is use this inspection as a springboard to help us on the way to achieving outstanding status.” The College each year provides school leavers, adults, undergraduates and apprentices with the opportunity to access a pathway into employment and onto university study.

College Life - 2017





abour MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham, visited the College to highlight the importance of the role of Greater Manchester Mayor and the influence young people can have on the decisions being made in Government.

teenagers have real hope that there is a bright future waiting for them at the end of school, with apprenticeships for those who get the grades. I want to help people in their 20s get a decent and affordable place to rent or own. Young people are not engaged by traditional political structures and so devolution is a chance to do politics differently.”

The Labour candidate for the Mayor of Greater Manchester visited the group of A level and vocational students to inform them of the importance of voting and the new position of a soon to be elected mayor. Andy who has been MP for Leigh since 2001 outlined the importance of giving hope to the regions young people during his recent visit. The masterclass concluded with a question and answer sessions where students asked Andy questions on world politics, his proposed mayoral plans, Brexit and his achievements so far. Andy Burnham MP, Leigh MP and Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, said, “I’m putting young people at the heart of my Mayoral campaign. I want a Greater Manchester where we invest in the early years to make all kids school-ready at age 4 and where all


College Life - 2017

Andy Burnham MP pictured with Students’ Union President, Shannon Holt

Students visit BAFTA Qualifying Film Festival


edia students recently visited the Aesthetica Short Film Festival for inspiration on their future careers and projects. They visited the York based festival which is in its sixth year to gain creative ideas and to meet established and budding producers.

This year’s festival showcased over 400 films with a number of special screenings from leading film organisations. The students attended a number of exclusive masterclasses with key speakers from the film world. Supported by

Wigan Foundation for Technical Education

A BEAST OF A PERFORMANCE Students work with West End star on their upcoming pantomime

alented Performing Arts students worked with a West End star as they prepared for their annual pantomime.


The College’s Performing Arts department sampled life on the big stage with the help of Graham as they prepared for their performance of Beauty and the Beast.

West End star and director, Graham Tudor, was welcomed by staff and students to the College’s dedicated School for the Arts.

The local director is best known for his performances as Joseph in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ for Bill Kenwright’s UK tour.

College Life - 2017





Students’ Union President Shannon Holt Former Hawley Hall High School student


or this edition of College Life we met enthusiastic Students’ Union President, Shannon Holt, for an exclusive insight into her role, the upcoming events from the student led organisation and the importance of contributing to the College community. Tell us a bit about your role as Students’ Union President? My role as president requires me to co-ordinate fundraisers, raise any issues students may be facing, promote the Student Voice and generally be an active member of the College community. What made you initially get involved with the union? I initially joined the group as I wanted to have a positive impact on my peers. I also thought joining the Students’ Union would provide me with a good grounding for progression onto university and into employment.

What is your biggest achievement to date? I’d say my biggest achievement has to be the amount of fundraising I have overseen. I have been a part of raising funds for a number of local and national charities from The Brick Project to Macmillan Cancer Support. As a union we’re committed to enhancing our College and wider community. Why would you encourage current and future students to join the union? Firstly, the union is an excellent opportunity to meet new friends, debate, make a difference and enhance your CV or UCAS application. What opportunities are there for members of the union? Students can expect to get involved in a whole host of events and roles - most students find themselves within student ambassador roles which requires attending open events, helping with new student days and sampling for secondary school students. We represent the College.

To find out more information about the Students’ Union visit one of our receptions.


College Life - 2017

Left to right: Mickey Higham - Club Captain, Robert Harper - Sports Student, Kieron Purtill - Assistant Coach

Leigh Centurions are pleased to confirm that they are entering a partnership with the College and are looking to form an academy and a reserves side for 2017.


lub officials including owner Derek Beaumont and Assistant Coach Kieron Purtill have had productive meetings with Assistant Principal Michelle Fisher to develop the initiative.

Michelle Fisher, Assistant Principal said: “We are delighted to partner with Leigh Centurions. The academy will be linked to the College’s Rugby pathways and our students will have the opportunity to work alongside players and coaches at Leigh Centurions, opening doors to their future careers.”


create a Christmas extravaganza


udding florists from the College took part in the annual Christmas Extravaganza at Arley Hall, Cheshire. Floristry students composed a variety of designs which were only display to the public in the scenic grounds of Arley Hall.

used teal blue, white and silver decorations to creatively decorate the 12 foot dining table. Helen Green, Floristry Lecturer at Wigan & Leigh College, said, “The students worked on the construction of the designs for several weeks prior to the unveiling at Arley Hall.

The students staged the designs for the West Door Entrance Hall in the theme of music which included ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ and ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas’ pieces. The Level 3 students revelled in the task of decorating the main Dining Room. The students

College Life - 2017



Partnership announced between LEIGH CENTURIONS and LEIGH COLLEGE


COLLEGE’S PLASTERING DEPARTMENT SCOOPS NATIONAL AWARD The College celebrated at The Plasterers’ Training Awards 2016 were they scooped a prestigious prize.


ollege Plastering Assessor, David Winchester and Lecturer Michael Simm attended the 18th annual awards ceremony where the College was crowned winner of the Collino Trophy. The award, which is presented each year to a large education provider who has the highest percentage of students achieving their qualifications within plastering, was presented to Wigan & Leigh College’s Plastering Lecturer, Michael Simm. The event which was hosted by the former Lord Mayor of London, Jeffrey Evans, was attended by hundreds at the Plaisterers’ Hall in the City of London.

Michael Simm, Plastering Lecturer added, “The award is a huge achievement for the whole plastering department, there’s a lot of prestigious colleges competing for awards at the annual ceremony so we are delighted that our hard work has been recognised. The standard in our department is directly related to the recruitment of experienced staff such as Robert Rebanks, David Winchester and John Hawley who provide students with a wide range of employability and educational opportunities. The award is recognition of the excellent work and high calibre of students at our Centre for Construction & Engineering (Pagefield).”

“The award is a huge achievement for the whole plastering department” 8

College Life - 2017

College tutor, Bev Higham, attended The Pure Beauty Awards 15th ceremony where her innovative beauty company scooped third place.


wner of beauty brand Potionshop and Image Centre tutor, Bev, attended the LaBoheme themed awards ceremony hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan where she beat of tough competition to achieve third place to world-renowned skin company Radox. Over 300 industry guests were in attendance as Bev and her Potionshop team, which includes business partner Bernie Mulligan, a former Wigan & Leigh College student, scooped the prestigious award. The evening’s guests included leading UK beauty buyers from Debenhams and Harrods.

Bev who established her homemade organic brand won bronze in Best New Bath & Shower Product.



Bev says, “I am delighted to have scooped third place in the category. Each Potionshop product is handmade and does not include chemical or synthetic ingredients. The company’s success is overwhelming and I hope that my achievements as a business woman and industry specialist inspire my current beauty students.“

“My career in teaching has spanned over 30 years. I hope many students will follow in my footsteps to fulfil their dream careers within the beauty therapy industry.”

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College Life - 2017


AROUND THE CLASSES‌ Staff and students from Leigh College sold homemade goods and produce in Leigh Town Centre today #LeighCollege

Our Level 3 Mechanical Engineering students visited Leyland Trucks for an industry insight! #LeylandTrucks

Bakery Students put their culinary skills on display at the #wiganopenevent

Look who our sports students met... MBE boxer Anthony Joshua! 10 College Life - 2017

Congratulations to our Joinery students who scooped first place in the five-a-side football competition at the Wigan Youth Zone Christmas has arrived in Wigan! Thank you to all visitors for making our winter wonderland festive and fun!

Floristry students displayed their #movember creations!

A big thank you to the Year 10 Bishop Rawstorne High School pupils who visited our Centre for Construction & Engineering (Pagefield)! We hope you had a great time #beinspired #tasterday College Life - 2017 College Life - 2017 11

Students studying on College’s innovative A LEVEL PROFESSIONAL HONOURS PROGRAMME scoop £2,000 SCHOLARSHIPS Bright students studying on Wigan & Leigh College’s pioneering A Level Professional Honours Programme have scooped prestigious scholarships worth £2,000.


he College awarded seven A Level learners with a £2,000 education scholarship aimed at enhancing opportunities for learners and providing additional support throughout their studies. A Level Professional Honours Programme Applied Medical student, Maria Babu from Chorley says, “I joined the College from nearby Albany Academy in hopes of establishing a career in medicine. I was delighted to receive the news I’d been

successful in my scholarship application. I plan to invest the money wisely into my studies which will provide me with the very best opportunities and a pathway into university.”



igan & Leigh College’s budding medics visited the University of Manchester’s annual Medical Society’s Christmas lecture. The annual lecture which was attended by the College A Level Professional Honours 12 College Life - 2017

Programme students was delivered by Professor Simon Carley. The lecture was based on the topic of decision making within the emergency room. The students performed a variety of complex treatments used within an emergency



Former Wigan & Leigh College student, Robert Forshaw, is making all the right noises as he scoops a prestigious international award for his radio drama in New York.

he 24-year-old from Wigan scooped the title of New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs award for his drama A Favela at a ceremony at the Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue.

The former Level 3 Diploma in Media student began his journey in radio at the College before progressing onto the University of Salford where the aspiring broadcaster achieved a first class honours degree. Robert is now on course to secure his Master’s Degree in Marketing at the university.



’m on the Enterprise A level pathway studying Business, Psychology, Sociology and English Combined. Part of my course was to go on work placement; I went to Wigan Clinical Comissioning Group which is part of the NHS. I spent 6 Fridays there and experienced the different parts of the business such as human resources, event planning and the four departments of finance. The work placement was a great experience and I learned a lot and it really helped to boost my performance in my lessons, especially business.

by Keeley Yates

Former St John Fisher High School student

Being given the opportunity to go to work placement and learn in a real business environment has really made me realise what I am interested in and what I would like to do in the future. Being involved with people who I aspire to be like one day was a fantastic experience and made me realise what the world of business is really like. Overall my time so far on the A level pathway has been exciting and interesting and I’m glad I chose Wigan & Leigh college as it has helped me massively in realising what I’d like to do in the future.

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MAKE YOUR CHOCOLATE EASTER CAKE with the help from our budding bakers Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus cooling) Cooking time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Serves: 10 Ingredients: 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 175g light brown soft sugar 3 eggs, at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tbsp whole milk 150g self-raising flour 4 tbsp cocoa 1 pack of mini chocolate eggs, to decorate 1 bar of your favourite chocolate, to decorate Icing 150g unsalted butter, softened 150g icing sugar 2 tbsp whole milk 1 x ½ tsp vanilla extract 3 tbsp cocoa Method: 1. Preheat your oven at 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of 2 x 18cm cake tins with baking parchment. Using an electric or hand beater, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla and milk. 2. Next you need to gently beat in the flour and cocoa, mixing until smooth! Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 20 minutes. It’s now time for your cake to cool! 3. For the icing, beat the butter for two minutes until creamy, then beat in the sugar for an additional two minutes. Now you need to warm the milk in a small pan followed by beating it into the butter and sugar with the vanilla and cocoa until smooth. 4. Place one of the cakes on a plate and cover with icing. Sit the second cake on top and cover the top and sides with icing. Grate the chocolate bar and scatter with the chocolate eggs over the cake and serve!

Enjoy! 14 College Life - 2017

Budding chefs Cavan and Natasha from the College’s culinary classes secured a two week work placement at London’s prestigious Grosvenor Hotel. The duo visited the country’s capital to gain valuable work experience from the 5* venue.

Supported by

Wigan Foundation for Technical Education




he students also assisted on the preparation of dinner for 1500 people in the famous Great Room, as well as experiencing the busy JW Steakhouse Restaurant. The learners also received the opportunity to try some of the hotels most famous dishes including the renowned cheesecake.


Emily Madden Former Westleigh High School student

Level 3 Media Student, Emily Madden, reviewed Wigan’s Christmas Light Switch on as the budding filmmaker captured the highly anticipated star-studded event on camera with the rest of her class.


igan well and truly shone bright on the night of the switch on - the town was alive with the sounds of music and laughter. Everyone was having an amazing time and the acts were absolutely astounding. I was amazed from start to finish at how many names they had up on stage - from up and coming talent to big name stars. There was definitely something for everyone, and it was a wonderful event that catered for the young

and the old alike. My favourite act of the night was Stooshe - I’ve been a big fan of theirs for years and I was so excited to hear they were performing, and they didn’t disappoint. All the other acts were spectacular too - the crowd went wild for everyone. Being part of the team that captured the event on camera felt exhilarating. I was extremely excited to become a part of Wigan’s Christmas lights switch on, the constant action and excitement of the crowd and the event made me feel honoured to have been chosen to help in the filming of the event. College Life - 2017 15

FREE BREAKFAST FOR 16 TO 18 YEAR OLDS If you’re 16-18 and studying on a full-time course, don’t forget that you’re entitled to a FREE breakfast! Breakfast is served from 8.30am - 8.50am Monday to Thursday. Find out more at

The Wheel Restaurant, located in the heart of Wigan Town Centre, is run by staff and students and offers a delicious three course menu. Staff and students can take advantage of the exclusive deal on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes.

Don’t miss out, book now! Call us on 01942 761 888

If you have an idea or want to become a College Life columnist, contact Jessica Ripley-Holmes at

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